Hot answers tagged

19 votes
Accepted

How did helium deposits form?

Helium (He) is formed by radioactive decay of uranium (U) and thorium (Th) to lead (Pb). There's another name for the nucleus of a 4He atom: It's an alpha particle. Alpha decay is one of the pathways ...
user avatar
  • 20.2k
18 votes
Accepted

Are clouds a gas, liquid, and/or solid?

The cloud that you see is a mixture of solids and liquids. The liquid is water and the solids are ice, cloud condensation nuclei and ice condensation nuclei (tiny particulates that water and ice ...
user avatar
  • 13.9k
16 votes
Accepted

What is caesium-137 used for in fracking?

Caesium-137 is not used in the fracking process. Caesium-137 is used as a source of gamma-rays in some logging tools, most notably the density tool (one example), and some other instruments such as ...
user avatar
  • 10.7k
16 votes

What is the most important source of natural gas? Coal, oil or other?

The most important source of natural gas is natural gas. This is why it is called natural. It is not "made" from oil or coal. Natural gas forms by decomposition of organic material. Whether the ...
user avatar
  • 22.2k
15 votes

Has a reduction in car use ever had an effect on the ozone layer?

The sequence of events you describe has never happened, for several reasons. As Sabre Tooth mentions in the comments, vehicle emissions have a negligible effect on stratospheric ozone. (Note that ...
user avatar
  • 5,380
14 votes
Accepted

What's it like inside a natural gas cavern on Earth?

A cavern filled with natural gas would look like an ordinary cavern. However, natural gas is rarely abundant in caverns. Most natural gas reservoirs occur in the pore spaces of sandstones. These pore ...
user avatar
  • 10.7k
13 votes

Why is helium only found in wells mixed with natural gas?

Helium is produced by the radioactive decay of primordial uranium and thorium. It should not be strongly associated with non-primordial 'fossil' hydrocarbons. The first statement is correct. The ...
user avatar
  • 20.2k
10 votes
Accepted

Temperature as a function of luminosity and greenhouse gas concentrations

You need a radiative transfer model and global climate model to do it with greenhouse gases. you can derive the temperature without greenhouse gases as discussed below: The absorption is highly ...
user avatar
  • 12.7k
8 votes

Are there gases from the Earth useful to generate electricity besides "natural gas"?

The category "other gases" may not solely include other naturally occurring gases extracted from the Earth. As you state natural gas is predominantly methane, extracted from the Earth. Another type ...
user avatar
  • 20.7k
8 votes
Accepted

What "g" would be needed to keep helium on Earth?

Atmospheric escape is the loss of planetary atmospheric gases to outer space. You'd never be able to contain ALL of any gas forever by gravity. Ultimately you end up in the rarefied atmosphere where ...
user avatar
  • 511
8 votes
Accepted

Why air do not suffer density stratification of its gaseous components?

So, naively, one would expect the heavier gasses to pool in the lower atmosphere and the light ones at the top. That's overly naive. That same naive expectation would lead one to think that uranium ...
user avatar
  • 20.2k
8 votes
Accepted

How high is too high for hydrogen to rise?

I had a similar question, and then I learned that at the molecular level it is diffusion what dominates, that means that despite Hydrogen is lighter, it won't rise to the top of the atmosphere. ...
user avatar
7 votes

Are clouds a gas, liquid, and/or solid?

A cloud isn't solid any more than a bunch of dust picked up by the wind is solid. It's mostly air, but what you see is tiny suspended particles, so it's no more a liquid than a bunch of dust blowing ...
user avatar
  • 5,707
7 votes

Why is helium only found in wells mixed with natural gas?

David Hammen's answer explains why He is extracted from natural gas. But, it is not found only there. Helium exists just about everywhere on earth. You find it in volcanoes, in subseafloor ...
user avatar
  • 22.2k
6 votes

Why air do not suffer density stratification of its gaseous components?

But despite of that, there is no reports of miners dying because on the top of the cavity the air was only nitrogen or oxygen at the bottom. Yes and no, miners die from other causes, like lack of ...
user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Are there gases from the Earth useful to generate electricity besides "natural gas"?

Fred's answer looks correct, but in this case, the source is right there under the chart. US Energy Information Administration (type "other gases" in the search box) Explained here in the footnotes ...
user avatar
  • 5,707
6 votes
Accepted

Regarding various types of atmospheric pollution

As a USA resident, the EPA is the best place to start when wondering about the emissions inventory of atmospheric pollutants or pollutant precursors that affect the National Ambient Air Quality ...
user avatar
  • 12.7k
6 votes
Accepted

How do I convert kg·kg⁻¹ to ppbV (parts per billion volume)?

So if you have a mass-mixing ratio, you effectively $\frac{ \text{kg pollutant}}{\text{kg dry air}}$. PPBV is parts per billion volume, or number of molecules of pollutant per billion molecules of dry ...
user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What is meant by Global-warming Potential (GWP)?

Rather than using the GWP as a ratio, they are expressing the GWP as compared to a release of $\ce{CO2}$ with equivalent radiative effects. To use their numbers use the mass they give you and a GWP ...
user avatar
  • 13.9k
5 votes

What is the ratio of infra-red light absorbed by green house gases?

There is no simple relationship since it all depends on the frequency (IR spectral lines for most species of molecules are a mess). The most direct and precise way of calculation is through line-by-...
user avatar
  • 2,083
5 votes
Accepted

What would happen if magma flows into a very large oil deposit?

If there were an earthquake that somehow cause a crack in the earth and allowed a significant amount of magma to flow into a very large oil deposit. My understanding from this is that you are making ...
user avatar
  • 22.2k
5 votes

What would happen if magma flows into a very large oil deposit?

An oil deposit is gravel and rock mixed with oil, capped by rock - like this: My guess is that if somehow, likely from below or sideways, magma would intrude into this deposit, oil (and posibly water)...
user avatar
  • 1,184
5 votes

Are plastics a carbon sink and how much carbon is released to the atmosphere making them?

The idea of a carbon sink is a bit misunderstood here. The idea of a carbon sink is a reduction of carbon that comes from the atmosphere. It must “fix” carbon that is already in the air. Trees are a ...
user avatar
  • 159
5 votes

Does Xenon really covalently bond to oxygen within quartz?

Not sure this is appropriate for Earth Science SE (Chemistry SE would be a better fit), but the answer is "maybe". quoting from the same Wikipedia article: Three oxides of xenon are known: ...
user avatar
5 votes

What is the most important source of natural gas? Coal, oil or other?

A significant part of the natural gas used around the world today comes from oil fields. On top of the oil is a layer of natural gas, and in the crude oil is dissolved natural gas. This will be ...
user avatar
  • 1,820
4 votes

What's it like inside a natural gas cavern on Earth?

According to 3-D Printing Artificial Reservoir Rocks to Test Their Petrophysical Properties Pore sizes of typical reservoir sandstone range from 0.1 to 100s of microns.
user avatar
  • 5,892
4 votes

What is a "show" in petroleum geology?

A show is a visual indication of hydrocarbons, in the jargon of petroleum exploration, it is typically used to describe a drilling. It could be e.g. a Gas show in the drilling fluid. Show evaluation ...
user avatar
  • 5,896
3 votes

Why is helium only found in wells mixed with natural gas?

The helium in natural gas wells is created from uranium and thorium (as you correctly state) contained in the underlying granite basement rock or radioactive black shales that allows the natural gas ...
user avatar
  • 2,137
3 votes
Accepted

How much methane clathrates are buried in continental deposits?

According to Role of methane clathrates in past and future climates, Methane occurrences and the organic carbon content of sediments are the bases used to estimate the amount of carbon currently ...
user avatar
  • 5,892
3 votes

Are plastics a carbon sink and how much carbon is released to the atmosphere making them?

Most plastics are made from the already-sunk carbon of crude oil or natural gas, and as a result, can be at best carbon neutral. However, bioplastics such as cellulose acetate or polylactic acid are ...
user avatar
  • 1,180

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible